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ontheheap
10-23-2009, 00:56
I'm a newly certified diver (padi ow). I would never even think of doing a cave dive now (that would be insane, and I'd be asking for serious trouble). However, cave diving is something that I am interesting in and would eventually like to pursue. I'm taking my padi aow in a few weeks, and have a dive trip scheduled in january for cozumel. I'll be at just under 20 dives at that point (definitely still a newb!)

My question is, how much experience is recommended before pursing the cave training? I'm thinking that I'd like to have 200+ dives in all sorts of conditions before even thinking about the cave training. I'd like to know what others think about this matter, especially those of you who are current cave divers.

CompuDude
10-23-2009, 01:50
It varies by the diver... some may be ready for the bare beginnings of cave training by 50 dives (although they're the exception), and others will never be ready.

The numbers I see cited most often are 100-200 dives.

I'd talk to a cave instructor after around 100 dives and see what they think. But if you want to wait until you have 200 dives, that's more than ok, too.

Meanwhile, you'll do yourself a favor if you start migrating to a more cave-friendly gear configuration: bp/w, paddle fins (no splits), and perhaps a canister light, all in a hogarthian arrangement. The same basic gear tenants apply to most of the major cave instruction agencies.

frozenwarp
10-23-2009, 03:42
As mentioned i believe the answer will vary depending on yourself.
Here in Australia the primary training organisation requires you to have been OW certified for atleast 1 year along with AOW with atleast navigation and deep as chosen specialties. and 25 post advanced dives under your belt.

If you are interested in going this way i'd reccomend trying to find an instructor for your advanced specialies that who themselves is a cave diver so they can help you hone your skills along the way. I'd also recommend not doing the PADI 4 dive AOW which i dont believe is worth the time and money. instead try doing a propor advanced course and choose 4 relevent specialty courses, my choices would likely be Navigation, Night, Wreck and Deep. i believe these to be a great range of skills to help get you ready for your cave diving in the future.

enjoy,
Bradley

Tassie Diver
10-23-2009, 04:09
:smilie39::smilie39:Don't do it... people die in caves!!!!

TommyB
10-23-2009, 04:18
First step would be cavern training. See if you like the overhead.
Your profile says your in FL. so a lot of caverns to play around.
And you are located near some great caverns. Buford, Hudson, Blue Grotto etc. Those are not too far from Port Richy.

It's really not the amount of dives you have, but your comfort level , skill level in the water. I've seen guys/gals with 400/500 dives that could not hover if their life depended on it. (in a cave you life may just depend on your ability to hover without moving)....

One thing you need to really practice on is buoyancy control.

There's a saying here in Cave Country
"Open water divers swim to maintain buoyancy control , Cave divers have buoyancy control before they even swim"


Talk to these guys-
Dayo Scuba Dive Shop and Store - Orlando Florida - Open Water, Cavern, Cave and Technical Scuba Training and Diving - Main Page (http://www.scubadiver.cc/)
They dive every day and let people just hang out and dive with them.
Great way to learn some water skills and go diving with people all the time.
Also, good way to see if you would even like cavern / cave.

This will give you an idea of some of the places right next door to you where they dive
Favorite Pictures of the Month - Dayo Scuba Orlando Cyber Cafe (http://www.scubadiver.cc/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=17)

Also, if you want to read up on cave diving, cavern diving sign up over here
Cavern, Cave and Overhead Diving Around the World (http://www.cavediver.net/)

ianr33
10-23-2009, 07:49
You live in the right place thats for sure!

If you want to move towards Cave Diving in the future I would suggest the following:

1)Do a nitrox course. Majority of cave Dives in Florida are done on 32%

2)Buy cave appropriate gear.:Jetfins with springstraps, BP/Wing, long hose,quality backup lights (photon torpedo etc).

Even if you never pursue Cave Diving all that stuff will work fine in Open Water .

When you feel ready take a Cavern course. That can be done in regular OW gear but having the long hose etc will be a bonus.
You can even take Intro Cave in a single tank rig (with H/Y valve). Personally I dont thats the best idea but lots of agencies disagree with me!

Scuba Pete
10-23-2009, 07:59
All good information. I started my cavern class with around 60 dives. This was an introduction to not only the overhead envirnment but also to my new instructor. I was definatly bitten by the cave bug and knew instantly that i wanted to go full cave. I had been diving doubles and long hose for 10 dives or so. My 2 other buddies had also been diving their double for the same amount of time. Our instructor thought it would be funny to make us use singles and recreational gear since the cert is a recreational cert. fast forward 6 months, my buddy and i did our intro and full cave class over a spring break. Normally our insturctor says that you shouldn't think about cave diving until you have at least 100 dives successfully completed. He was comfortable with our skill level and comfort level in the water. I think that this was mostly due to the mentors that we had along the way teaching and letting us ask the questions that we needed to ask. I would suggest that you find a good mentor that will be a good friend and can teach you without really teaching you. That will give you a huge jump start. Another suggestion is to not get caught up in the GUE/ Non-GUE thing. If you feel that GUE/DIR is the right method for you then take some of thier classes. If not there are a few just as great training agencies. I have my cavern, intro, and full cave through NACD. The NSS-CDS also has good training. I would stay away from the recreational agencies in overhead, PADI, NAUI, SDI, etc. I am not sure about TDI, as the only experience with them was a very bad dive buddy. So i can not comment on them.

LiteHedded
10-23-2009, 09:35
you can't really put a number on it
I would talk to an instructor. they'll be able to tell whether you're ready real quick

CompuDude
10-23-2009, 13:27
If you feel that GUE/DIR is the right method for you then take some of thier classes. If not there are a few just as great training agencies. I have my cavern, intro, and full cave through NACD. The NSS-CDS also has good training. I would stay away from the recreational agencies in overhead, PADI, NAUI, SDI, etc. I am not sure about TDI, as the only experience with them was a very bad dive buddy. So i can not comment on them.

Note that NAUI-Tec is a very different animal from NAUI's recreational certs.

But yeah. GUE, UTD, NSS-CDS, NACD, TDI, NAUI-Tec, etc. are all good options, it just depends on the instructor. (Individual instructor quality varies less with GUE, IMO, but it's still important to find one you click with)

Scuba Pete
10-23-2009, 13:40
If you feel that GUE/DIR is the right method for you then take some of thier classes. If not there are a few just as great training agencies. I have my cavern, intro, and full cave through NACD. The NSS-CDS also has good training. I would stay away from the recreational agencies in overhead, PADI, NAUI, SDI, etc. I am not sure about TDI, as the only experience with them was a very bad dive buddy. So i can not comment on them.

Note that NAUI-Tec is a very different animal from NAUI's recreational certs.

But yeah. GUE, UTD, NSS-CDS, NACD, TDI, NAUI-Tec, etc. are all good options, it just depends on the instructor. (Individual instructor quality varies less with GUE, IMO, but it's still important to find one you click with)

I was not aware that NAUI had a Tech side. I am still not sure that i would want to get trained from an agency that started as a recreational agency and is getting started in the tech area. I would much rather get trained by the folks that started as tech and will stay tech with no intentions of recreational. I know most of the good instructors will have multiple agencys they can certify you in but still i would rather have the NACD, NSS-CDS, IANTD certifications.

CompuDude
10-23-2009, 14:35
If you feel that GUE/DIR is the right method for you then take some of thier classes. If not there are a few just as great training agencies. I have my cavern, intro, and full cave through NACD. The NSS-CDS also has good training. I would stay away from the recreational agencies in overhead, PADI, NAUI, SDI, etc. I am not sure about TDI, as the only experience with them was a very bad dive buddy. So i can not comment on them.

Note that NAUI-Tec is a very different animal from NAUI's recreational certs.

But yeah. GUE, UTD, NSS-CDS, NACD, TDI, NAUI-Tec, etc. are all good options, it just depends on the instructor. (Individual instructor quality varies less with GUE, IMO, but it's still important to find one you click with)

I was not aware that NAUI had a Tech side. I am still not sure that i would want to get trained from an agency that started as a recreational agency and is getting started in the tech area. I would much rather get trained by the folks that started as tech and will stay tech with no intentions of recreational. I know most of the good instructors will have multiple agencys they can certify you in but still i would rather have the NACD, NSS-CDS, IANTD certifications.

Andrew Georgitsis helped write their training curriculum... was their training director for a time, actually. Does that help any?

NAUI's tec side has been around for a while, they're just not as well known. VERY distinctly different from the rec side, not to worry.

NAUI Worldwide Technical Courses (http://www.naui.org/technical_divers.aspx)

NAUI Worldwide Organization (http://www.naui.org/comp_overview.aspx#tech)

in_cavediver
10-23-2009, 17:05
My opinion - forget about numbers, find a good mentor who is a cave diver and go dive. Take cavern when you are comfortable and prepare to learn. (or cave 1 if you like GUE). Dive some more, then do intro, apprentice, full cave as you feel comfortable.

I did it the hard way - started with rec certs, DM and advanced nitrox then cave. Had I started early with cave/tec divers, I am sure it would have been much less painful at times if I didn't have to unlearn some bad habits.

My wife was 'brought up' by cave divers - 5 of us from OW training on. She learned buoyancy and body position from the start. Dive planning, philosophies etc all rubbed off from the start. We were an influence on her. (and ScubaPete too). I'll let them tell you if it was good way to go or not. (cave diving is kinda expensive so if you don't want to spend a lot of money - stay away!). She might be a bit predjudiced though as she has more cave/overhead dives than OW dives I think. She was one of that 1% or so CDalluded to - she did cavern at dive 25 and full cave at dive 60ish.

Scuba Pete
10-23-2009, 19:56
My opinion - forget about numbers, find a good mentor who is a cave diver and go dive. Take cavern when you are comfortable and prepare to learn. (or cave 1 if you like GUE). Dive some more, then do intro, apprentice, full cave as you feel comfortable.

I did it the hard way - started with rec certs, DM and advanced nitrox then cave. Had I started early with cave/tec divers, I am sure it would have been much less painful at times if I didn't have to unlearn some bad habits.

My wife was 'brought up' by cave divers - 5 of us from OW training on. She learned buoyancy and body position from the start. Dive planning, philosophies etc all rubbed off from the start. We were an influence on her. (and ScubaPete too). I'll let them tell you if it was good way to go or not. (cave diving is kinda expensive so if you don't want to spend a lot of money - stay away!). She might be a bit predjudiced though as she has more cave/overhead dives than OW dives I think. She was one of that 1% or so CDalluded to - she did cavern at dive 25 and full cave at dive 60ish.

I think I have said it before, and i will say it again. You have had a large influence on the way i dive and the way i think about diving. My cavern was at 60 dives and full cave at 70. It was a huge help and jump forward having someone to observe and be a sponge to.

ontheheap
10-25-2009, 00:54
I would say at this point I'm mainly just curious when it comes to cave diving. I've only recently completed my ow (padi) and I'm taking aow next month (though I definitely won't consider myself "advanced" at that point..) As my skills progress I think cave diving is something I would definitely consider. I know that there is an instructor at my lds who has been diving caves and instructing for years, so he would definitely be the person I would approach on this. Thanks for the info =)

jj1987
10-25-2009, 10:35
If you feel that GUE/DIR is the right method for you then take some of thier classes. If not there are a few just as great training agencies. I have my cavern, intro, and full cave through NACD. The NSS-CDS also has good training. I would stay away from the recreational agencies in overhead, PADI, NAUI, SDI, etc. I am not sure about TDI, as the only experience with them was a very bad dive buddy. So i can not comment on them.

Note that NAUI-Tec is a very different animal from NAUI's recreational certs.

But yeah. GUE, UTD, NSS-CDS, NACD, TDI, NAUI-Tec, etc. are all good options, it just depends on the instructor. (Individual instructor quality varies less with GUE, IMO, but it's still important to find one you click with)

I was not aware that NAUI had a Tech side. I am still not sure that i would want to get trained from an agency that started as a recreational agency and is getting started in the tech area. I would much rather get trained by the folks that started as tech and will stay tech with no intentions of recreational. I know most of the good instructors will have multiple agencys they can certify you in but still i would rather have the NACD, NSS-CDS, IANTD certifications.

Andrew Georgitsis helped write their training curriculum... was their training director for a time, actually. Does that help any?

NAUI's tec side has been around for a while, they're just not as well known. VERY distinctly different from the rec side, not to worry.

NAUI Worldwide Technical Courses (http://www.naui.org/technical_divers.aspx)

NAUI Worldwide Organization (http://www.naui.org/comp_overview.aspx#tech)
While that's true, one MAJOR disadvantage to non GUE agencies when it comes to AG style standards are that I don't think any agency other than UTD/GUE are upholding standards the way they are. So you might get good instruction, but it's no where near a guarantee like it is with the two previously mentioned agencies.

I'm not trained by either of those agencies, but if I weren't local to cave country where I got a chance to meet several instructors and know them very well before taking a class, I would seriously consider GUE/UTD to lower the risk of bad instruction.

LCF
10-30-2009, 05:31
Living in Florida, you have options.

I often recommend to people who are thinking about cave diving, that they take GUE's Fundamentals class, not because they should feel committed to GUE's cave training (although it is excellent training) but because it's a class you can take even in a single tank, to begin to learn proper trim, non-silting propulsion, light discipline, and other skills that you will need for cave diving. If you don't hang out with cave divers, you may never have seen the kind of standard for skills that is required for cave diving. Fundies will introduce you to it, and allow you to begin your practice early in your career. I took Fundies at 60 dives, but I had about 500 when I took my first cave class.

You, however, have the option of doing a cavern class early on, because you can do cavern in a single tank. A good cavern class will introduce you to the same skills (cavern is not an option for those of us who live in caveless places!)

But even before taking a cavern class, I'd highly recommend hooking up with some cave divers and modeling what they do. They do dive differently, and the gear is different as well.

Good luck with this! Cave diving is the most wonderful thing I've ever learned how to do.

ssmdive
12-08-2009, 21:11
I was not aware that NAUI had a Tech side. I am still not sure that i would want to get trained from an agency that started as a recreational agency and is getting started in the tech area. I would much rather get trained by the folks that started as tech and will stay tech with no intentions of recreational. I know most of the good instructors will have multiple agencys they can certify you in but still i would rather have the NACD, NSS-CDS, IANTD certifications.

My NAUI Cave I instructor was on the Board of the NACD, the training committee of the NACD, and is an instructor director of the NACD. I think he is quite qualified.

Plus, NAUI Cave I is a much more progressive training program. You are allowed to use doubles, allowed to make two nav decisions, and allowed to use 3rds. Compared to Intro (which is not supposed to be done in doubles), can only use 6ths, and compared to the Intro card which expires in a year.... It was a much better choice for me.

Honestly, I can't see why anyone would go Intro/Apprentice when they can just do Cave I and be able to do the same without a certification that expires.

Plus as already stated Andrew Georgitsis wrote the NAUI Cave manual.

ssmdive
12-08-2009, 22:12
I'm a newly certified diver (padi ow).
My question is, how much experience is recommended before pursing the cave training? I'm thinking that I'd like to have 200+ dives in all sorts of conditions before even thinking about the cave training. I'd like to know what others think about this matter, especially those of you who are current cave divers.

Get into a cavern class as soon as you can. It will teach you skills that will help you with the more advanced classes.

Then, find some buddies that are willing to work with you and take you on dives in places like Buford, Devils Den, Blue Grotto, Paradise... Ect. In fact, just this past weekend we took someone to the main spring at Ginnie, Little Devil, and the cavern in the Ear... So once you get your cavern, shoot me a message.

When you are ready (and by this time you will know when you are ready) just pick an organization that fits YOUR personality.

NACD is great... But I didn't like how you had to take intro, then apprentice, then within a year take full.

I personally like the GUE

Cave | Global Underwater Explorers (http://www.gue.com/?q=en/node/118)

One of my dive buddies suggested my Instructor and he suggested the agency to certify me... And NAUI tech allowed me to do more.

So take little river:

NACD Intro... Not allowed to use Doubles. Not allowed off the main line. Can only use 6ths. So you could go to the first split... About 400 feet back. But not see the Mud Tunnel.

NSS-CDS... Intro allows 6ths of Doubles... But no jumps, gaps or complex navigation. So you could not do the Mud Tunnel.

GUE... Can only navigate one permanent intersection. So you could go the main line to the first intersection and then you could do either the Serpentine tunnel or the Merry Go Round tunnel (~850 back), but you would never make it into the Florida room. You could not take the Mud Tunnel since you have to jump to it and off of it.

NAUI I... You can jump to the Mud Tunnel and back to the main line and then continue to the split (400 feet). OR, you could take the main line to the first split, the second split (~850 feet) and make it into the FL room (1130 feet back).

So NAUI I allows more.... And in the end it was the agancy my muti rated instructor suggested.

Still, All of the above programs have benefits.

NACD and NSS-CDS gives you little bits of permission at a time. And it encourages you to learn between each certification. I think the Intro class is a bit dated since it really is just a "Cavern cert plus".

GUE honestly has a great syllabus. And having been in the Army I can buy into the everyone does it this way mentality. They get a little bit restrictive... For example from: Cave Diver Level 1 | Global Underwater Explorers (http://www.gue.com/?q=en/node/119)


The harness below the diver's arms should have small restrictive bands to allow for the placement of reserve light powered by three in-line c-cell batteries (where necessary).

So my Intova 4.7W LED Light's, or my Princton Tech Impact's would not be allowed since they are powered by AAA's and AA's respectively. Now they also require a spare mask... Which I think at least one guy in the team should have one, but maybe not EVERYONE.

And things like GUE requires you to be a non-smoker.


1.6 General Prerequisites for All GUE Courses

All GUE courses have the following prerequisites (any additional prerequisite, as well as any deviations from the following, will be listed under the specific course section):


Must submit a completed registration form, complete with medical history, and liability release to GUE Headquarters.
Must be physically and mentally fit.
Must hold insurance that will cover diving emergencies such as hyperbaric treatment e.g. DAN Master-level insurance or equivalent.
Must be a nonsmoker.
Must obtain a physician’s prior written authorization for the use of prescription drugs, except for birth control, or for a prior medical condition that may pose a risk while diving. A partial list of such conditions may be found on GUE’s medical history form. Conditions that pose a risk to students while diving require a physician’s written approval to dive; this information must be disclosed to their GUE instructor before the onset of training. Physician clearance for a specific condition is valid for one year from the date it is given, assuming there are no further changes to the student’s medical conditions. Physician clearance to dive under a specific medical condition does not obligate GUE or a GUE representative to clear a trainee for diving; this remains at the sole discretion of the instructor.

Now, everything they do require does make sense if you are planning on going for a World Record as part of a well oiled team.... And part of me likes it.... But for a recreational dive, I think some of the rules are a bit much... I don't smoke, but I don't think that should prevent someone from cave diving, and I think the Intova lights are just great.

But as some have said the BEST you can do is find a mentor that is willing to help you out.

UCFKnightDiver
12-08-2009, 22:58
You are incorrect about NACD's Intro certification, the regular intro does not expire and is allowed to be taken in doubles per instructors discression. The Intro to Cave with Doubles card specifically certifies you in doubles and has a 1 yr time limit (this card was made to get around Ginnie's rule of doubles on the card). This card is given under the assumption that you will farther your training rather than just push to 1/3rds etc, if after the one year you do not wish to go farther, you may request a regular Intro certification card to be issued to you.

ssmdive
12-09-2009, 06:42
You are incorrect about NACD's Intro certification, the regular intro does not expire and is allowed to be taken in doubles per instructors discression. The Intro to Cave with Doubles card specifically certifies you in doubles and has a 1 yr time limit (this card was made to get around Ginnie's rule of doubles on the card). This card is given under the assumption that you will farther your training rather than just push to 1/3rds etc, if after the one year you do not wish to go farther, you may request a regular Intro certification card to be issued to you.

OK, sorry the only intro card that expires is the "doubles card". But it does expire, and the apprentice card also expires in one year unless you take Full. The point is that NACD has a bunch of time limits then the card expires and you either have to downgrade or take another class.

It kept me from taking the classes for 5 years. Which is why I told the OP to go ahead and take cavern, and then find a buddy to help guide him, and THEN an agency that fits with him and his personality.

He may love the NACD and it being a tradition, or prefer the uniformity of the GUE, or the freedom that NAUI allows. All are fine agencies, and only he can decide which is correct for him.

kat
12-09-2009, 12:37
I would say at this point I'm mainly just curious when it comes to cave diving. I've only recently completed my ow (padi) and I'm taking aow next month (though I definitely won't consider myself "advanced" at that point..) As my skills progress I think cave diving is something I would definitely consider. I know that there is an instructor at my lds who has been diving caves and instructing for years, so he would definitely be the person I would approach on this. Thanks for the info =)
That's probably a good place to start. Have him evaluate your skills if you ever get a chance to dive with him so he knows where you are and might be able to help you progress in the direction you wish to go.

jj1987
12-09-2009, 13:23
You are incorrect about NACD's Intro certification, the regular intro does not expire and is allowed to be taken in doubles per instructors discression. The Intro to Cave with Doubles card specifically certifies you in doubles and has a 1 yr time limit (this card was made to get around Ginnie's rule of doubles on the card). This card is given under the assumption that you will farther your training rather than just push to 1/3rds etc, if after the one year you do not wish to go farther, you may request a regular Intro certification card to be issued to you.

OK, sorry the only intro card that expires is the "doubles card". But it does expire, and the apprentice card also expires in one year unless you take Full. The point is that NACD has a bunch of time limits then the card expires and you either have to downgrade or take another class.

It kept me from taking the classes for 5 years. Which is why I told the OP to go ahead and take cavern, and then find a buddy to help guide him, and THEN an agency that fits with him and his personality.

He may love the NACD and it being a tradition, or prefer the uniformity of the GUE, or the freedom that NAUI allows. All are fine agencies, and only he can decide which is correct for him.
The fact is 99% of divers who actually cave dive (which is very few of who take the class) WILL break certification limits within a year. I know of very few intro divers who haven't done a jump or went beyond 1/6ths, after gaining experience at that level, or apprentice divers who don't stage dive.

And I doubt you could make it to the FL room within NAUI Cave 1 limits, it's too deep, and deco would creep up too fast. I also don't believe that any instructor would tell their intro/basic student that they cannot take the first T at little river if they mark it correctly.

As for the earlier post-
GUE is based around the team concept. If my buddies 3xC cell backup lights don't work one day, I have spares. If my buddies Gavin is acting up, I have one too and would be familiar with them to help. If my buddies 2nd stage fails, I can swap with a spare in my dive kit because our fittings are the same size....I much prefer to dive with divers who follow the same gear setup, it's saved a few dives for me. The GUE trained divers I dive with really believe in this, and IMO it's a great idea for those who follow it.

ssmdive
12-09-2009, 14:17
The fact is 99% of divers who actually cave dive (which is very few of who take the class) WILL break certification limits within a year. I know of very few intro divers who haven't done a jump or went beyond 1/6ths, after gaining experience at that level, or apprentice divers who don't stage dive.

And I doubt you could make it to the FL room within NAUI Cave 1 limits, it's too deep, and deco would creep up too fast. I also don't believe that any instructor would tell their intro/basic student that they cannot take the first T at little river if they mark it correctly.

As for the earlier post-
GUE is based around the team concept. If my buddies 3xC cell backup lights don't work one day, I have spares. If my buddies Gavin is acting up, I have one too and would be familiar with them to help. If my buddies 2nd stage fails, I can swap with a spare in my dive kit because our fittings are the same size....I much prefer to dive with divers who follow the same gear setup, it's saved a few dives for me. The GUE trained divers I dive with really believe in this, and IMO it's a great idea for those who follow it.

So since everyone breaks the rules anyway it is fine to just ignore the limits imposed by the agency's? Isn't one of the big five causes of incidents something about exceeding their level of certification? It is in the intro to the NSS Cave Diving Manual and on page 25 of the NAUI manual and listed #1 in both.

While many instructors might say it is fine to nav in intro..... It does not really fall into the syllabus of the class.

Again, I can see the GUE concept.... But if my buddies light fails, I just hand him another, get it fixed, or scrub the dive. If my buddies 2nd stage fails.... Same deal, reach into the extras, and pull out another reg... Not that big of a deal.

And no dive is so important that it can't be turned even before you hit the water.

Glad you like GUE... I like parts of it and find others unnecessarily restrictive such as only using lights that can only take 3 "C" batteries and not allowing smokers to take the training.

jj1987
12-09-2009, 14:27
So since everyone breaks the rules anyway it is fine to ignore the limits imposed by the agency's and to use that as an excuse to push one "brand"? Isn't one of the big five causes of incidents something about exceeding their level of certification? It is in the intro to the NSS Cave Diving Manual and on page 25 of the NAUI manual and listed #1 in both.
I don't think you'll find a single death caused by someone who was basic doing a jump or diving to 1/3rds, nor an apprentice diver stage diving. I think limited exposure to a higher level of diving before you take the next course with a good dive buddy causes you to get more out of the next course. Either way, I do feel that you should complete your cave training in a timely manner and not remain "half trained". I mean really, how many years can you dive mainline to 1/6ths in Florida's less than 15 tourist caves and not get bored or ignore rules? Really, there's fewer than 15 if you limit yourself to a 2 hour drive from most anywhere in the state, except maybe from Tally.


And no dive is so important that it can't be turned even before you hit the water.
Nope, but really there's rarely a reason to call a dive if you've chosen suitable dive buddies and preplanned the dive. Between a team of 2-3, we usually have enough crap to replace just about anything. I have zero issues if a dive buddy wants to turn the dive because of comfort level, but I've never had that happen before a dive since usually we talk the dive out before we drive to the cave. I've had to turn a dive (or had a buddy do it) because of a small passageway making me nervous, or silt getting too bad that the return trip would kill buddy communication, but these things are completely different than gear failures.


I guess none of your team smokes then.
Absolutely not. Basically all the guys (or girls) I dive with are in reasonable physical condition and non smokers. I don't really understand the desire to coat your lungs with tar and then go deco dive where you need your lungs to offgas. Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor which limits offgassing even more. Furthermore, the co2 retention issues can easily lead to higher levels of narcosis when working at depth. Working with smokers in the past, I've noticed how they cannot function close to their smoke break times due to nicotine addiction until they get their "fix" again, what if one hits 5000ft back in a cave? Finally, I like to carpool to save on gas money, and I can't stand being around someonewho's recently smoked, it gets in clothes, my car seats, and in the air, no thanks!

in_cavediver
12-09-2009, 14:34
JJ187, simple question - when you say complete your training in a timely fashion, how do you define completing your training? Is it GUE CAVE 1, CAVE 2 etc. On the NSS-CDS/NACD side - I assume you mean full cave. (not familar enough with NAUI to add it)

ssmdive
12-09-2009, 14:40
I don't think you'll find a single death caused by someone who was basic doing a jump or diving to 1/3rds, nor an apprentice diver stage diving.

There is a reason it is listed #1 in at least two training systems. In skydiving we have Basic Safety Requirements.... We like to say the BSR's were written in blood. When I was young and inexperienced.... I used to think breaking the BSR's was fun. Now that I have been jumping 14 years and have almost 5k jumps, nationals medals, been a first responder to fatalities, and instructor ratings.... I see things a bit differently.


Nope, but really there's rarely a reason to call a dive if you've chosen suitable dive buddies and preplanned the dive. Between a team of 3, we usually have enough crap to replace just about anything.But you don't have to be GUE to have that... We normally have enough spares that we could equip a diver that showed up with nothing. AND not being married to one philosophy means that if I have to use a "AAA" light instead of my A123... No problem and the dive goes on. Which means I have MORE flexibility to not have to scrub the dive.


Absolutely not. Basically all the guys (or girls) I dive with are in reasonable physical condition and non smokers.Same here mostly (I know one smoker), and still no one is GUE.

Look, glad you like GUE... Like I said, I can see some advantages... But I can also see some detraction's.

I guess you and I will just never dive together.

jj1987
12-09-2009, 14:41
JJ187, simple question - when you say complete your training in a timely fashion, how do you define completing your training? Is it GUE CAVE 1, CAVE 2 etc. On the NSS-CDS/NACD side - I assume you mean full cave. (not familar enough with NAUI to add it)
3 of my buddies are GUE/C2, one is IANTD technical cave, I did NACD full cave. I really consider that "completing training", even though most of the learning goes on after that. Ideally, I would say combine cavern/intro (or take cave 1), and then combine apprentice/full (or take cave 2).

I do believe that GUE/NAUI Cave 2 & IANTD Technical Cave are better options because they include stage diving, just in case the student doesn't have access to mentors.


But you don't have to be GUE to have that... We normally have enough spares that we could equip a diver that showed up with nothing. AND not being married to one philosophy means that if I have to use a "AAA" light instead of my A123... No problem and the dive goes on.
Never said you do have to be GUE. I'm not, and have zero intentions of becoming GUE trained. But they hit the nail on the head in many aspects of their rules, and I'm just giving credit where it's due.


I don't think you'll find a single death caused by someone who was basic doing a jump or diving to 1/3rds, nor an apprentice diver stage diving.

There is a reason it is listed #1 in at least two training systems.
I don't believe it says anywhere how far above training they went? Intro divers statistically have many fewer deaths than Full Cave divers do. The incident everyone goes back to is the Intro divers who rented scooters, took them to LR, missed the FL room, and blew the viz. That's the only recent incident I'm aware of, and that was diving up THREE levels. I think that rule applies to non trained cave divers and is referring to the surpluss of OW divers who have died in caves.

Breaking standards should never be encouraged IMO, but I don't believe it's the #1 killer in a cave. Medical conditions, narcosis, visual jumps, using unneeded technology to complicate a dive, etc all seem to cause more deaths than an intro diver doing a jump. Either way, the knowledge is readily available in the form of a full cave course, I see no reason not to get it as soon as you're qualified. Anyways, that's off topic, I was mainly defending the NACD's 1 year stance (which the intro scooter divers I mentioned above would have fallen under IIRC).

LiteHedded
12-09-2009, 15:13
you don't have to have 3 C cell lights btw

ssmdive
12-09-2009, 16:42
you don't have to have 3 C cell lights btw

Then why does the official site state that you must? OK, it says 2-3 C cell in one place and 3 C cell in another.

Cave Diver Level 1 | Global Underwater Explorers (http://www.gue.com/?q=en/node/119)

3. Backplate System: A rigid and flat platform, of metal construction with minimal padding, held to a diver by one continuous piece of nylon webbing. This webbing should be adjustable through the plate and should use a buckle to secure the system at the waist. A crotch strap attached to the lower end of this platform and looped through the waistband would prevent the system from riding up a diver's back. A knife should be secured to the waist on the left webbing tab. This webbing should support five D-rings; the first should be placed at the left hip, the second should be placed in line with a diver's right collarbone, the third should be placed in line with the diver's left collarbone, the fourth and fifth should be affixed to the crotch strap to use while scootering or towing/stowing gear. The harness below the diver's arms should have small restrictive bands to allow for the placement of reserve light powered by three in-line c-cell batteries (where necessary). The system should retain a minimalist approach with no unnecessary components.

13. Two reserve lights: Reserve lights should be powered by two or three in-line non-rechargeable ccell batteries,

So can you dive the Intova 4.7W LED Light powered by the CR123A battery's?

And no comment on the not allowing smokers to take the classes?

jj1987
12-09-2009, 16:57
So can you dive the Intova 4.7W LED Light powered by the CR123A battery's?
That light doesn't meet DIR standards regardless of what battery it uses.

Two reserve lights: Reserve lights should be powered by two or three in-line non-rechargeable ccell batteries, with a minimum of protrusions and a single attachment at its rear. The light should be activated and de-activated by twisting the front bezel.Even intova admist that they're lights are good....except for the switch failing. Not sure that makes a great backup light IMO.
Cave Diver's Forum - Cave Diving Resource - View Single Post - Bad experience with Intova (http://www.cavediver.net/forum/showpost.php?p=82318&postcount=19)

Really sorry to hear of your problem. If you contact us we will give you a new revised light. We had a real problem with switches initially and have corrected it. We do not get this issue with newer production units. Our lights are really good except for this issue. We have developed a new til switch that utilizes a magnetic metal push button. It also allows full and 30 % power along with a strobe feature. Lights are a relatively new area for us and we are working hard to make them the best value on the market. Stay tuned as we have some exciting new models coming out soon.
FWIW I bought one for above ground use AFTER they supposedly fixed it and had the same issue with the switch falling out.

LiteHedded
12-09-2009, 17:01
pretty sure that's outdated. they're more concerned with not having switches than how many batteries are in it.
I'd ask an instructor to be sure.
and my comment about not allowing smokers is that it doesn't bother me one bit.

ssmdive
12-09-2009, 18:28
That light doesn't meet DIR standards regardless of what battery it uses.

Two reserve lights: Reserve lights should be powered by two or three in-line non-rechargeable ccell batteries, with a minimum of protrusions and a single attachment at its rear. The light should be activated and de-activated by twisting the front bezel.Even intova admist that they're lights are good....except for the switch failing. Not sure that makes a great backup light IMO.


And I can find the same types of issues with Dive Right lights, Salvo lights...ect. I remember some issues with the rat lights.

LiteHedded

my comment about not allowing smokers is that it doesn't bother me one bit.

Fine. But it clearly shows how limiting they can be. You may like people telling you what and how to do anything..... I prefer organizations to provide guidance and then let people decide for themselves.

I didn't believe what so many people had told me about GUE.... I am quickly finding out that it is 100% true.

You guys have fun.

LiteHedded
12-09-2009, 18:57
That light doesn't meet DIR standards regardless of what battery it uses.

Two reserve lights: Reserve lights should be powered by two or three in-line non-rechargeable ccell batteries, with a minimum of protrusions and a single attachment at its rear. The light should be activated and de-activated by twisting the front bezel.Even intova admist that they're lights are good....except for the switch failing. Not sure that makes a great backup light IMO.


And I can find the same types of issues with Dive Right lights, Salvo lights...ect. I remember some issues with the rat lights.

LiteHedded

my comment about not allowing smokers is that it doesn't bother me one bit.

Fine. But it clearly shows how limiting they can be. You may like people telling you what and how to do anything..... I prefer organizations to provide guidance and then let people decide for themselves.

I didn't believe what so many people had told me about GUE.... I am quickly finding out that it is 100% true.

You guys have fun.

salvo lights don't (didn't) have switches. so you wouldn't find the same issues ;)
and you're right about it being limiting. that's the idea. there's a certain commitment to health and fitness. it's a system that's certainly not for everyone.

CompuDude
12-09-2009, 19:21
you don't have to have 3 C cell lights btw

Then why does the official site state that you must? OK, it says 2-3 C cell in one place and 3 C cell in another.

Cave Diver Level 1 | Global Underwater Explorers (http://www.gue.com/?q=en/node/119)

3. Backplate System: A rigid and flat platform, of metal construction with minimal padding, held to a diver by one continuous piece of nylon webbing. This webbing should be adjustable through the plate and should use a buckle to secure the system at the waist. A crotch strap attached to the lower end of this platform and looped through the waistband would prevent the system from riding up a diver's back. A knife should be secured to the waist on the left webbing tab. This webbing should support five D-rings; the first should be placed at the left hip, the second should be placed in line with a diver's right collarbone, the third should be placed in line with the diver's left collarbone, the fourth and fifth should be affixed to the crotch strap to use while scootering or towing/stowing gear. The harness below the diver's arms should have small restrictive bands to allow for the placement of reserve light powered by three in-line c-cell batteries (where necessary). The system should retain a minimalist approach with no unnecessary components.

13. Two reserve lights: Reserve lights should be powered by two or three in-line non-rechargeable ccell batteries,

So can you dive the Intova 4.7W LED Light powered by the CR123A battery's?

And no comment on the not allowing smokers to take the classes?

Regardless of what the website says, instructors are allowing any reasonable backup, and advising to work out what is appropriate with your team. Very few, if any, instructors are enforcing the 3 C cell light rule at this point, given newer technology. General form factor and switching mechanism are still considered important, however.

As for smoking, it is 100% diametrically opposed to one the main tenents of GUE's philosophy, which is physical fitness. I don't fully agree with that aspect for all levels, but it's their sandbox.

jj1987
12-09-2009, 20:24
You guys have fun.
Will do! Litehedded and I took a joy ride on the Gavin's last weekend at Manatee, and late last month took them for a cruise in Ginnie. Hopefully hitting up the Mill Pond after I finish exams :smiley20:

LiteHedded
12-09-2009, 20:26
glad you didn't bring the intova on that dive ;)

jj1987
12-09-2009, 20:39
glad you didn't bring the intova on that dive ;)
Being 4k back in a cave and learning that my light switch got silt jammed in it would have been a bad day. Thank goodness I "limited" myself.

Of course I have a feeling if you found out I had a switch on my backup's predive you would have opt 1'ed me ;)

ssmdive
12-10-2009, 08:15
glad you didn't bring the intova on that dive ;)
Being 4k back in a cave and learning that my light switch got silt jammed in it would have been a bad day. Thank goodness I "limited" myself.

Of course I have a feeling if you found out I had a switch on my backup's predive you would have opt 1'ed me ;)

Don't be a mud puppy and you should not have that problem :smiley2:

LiteHedded
12-10-2009, 08:18
glad you didn't bring the intova on that dive ;)
Being 4k back in a cave and learning that my light switch got silt jammed in it would have been a bad day. Thank goodness I "limited" myself.

Of course I have a feeling if you found out I had a switch on my backup's predive you would have opt 1'ed me ;)

Don't be a mud puppy and you should not have that problem :smiley2:
lol
he's obviously seen you in the water james

jj1987
12-10-2009, 08:52
glad you didn't bring the intova on that dive ;)
Being 4k back in a cave and learning that my light switch got silt jammed in it would have been a bad day. Thank goodness I "limited" myself.

Of course I have a feeling if you found out I had a switch on my backup's predive you would have opt 1'ed me ;)

Don't be a mud puppy and you should not have that problem :smiley2:
lol
he's obviously seen you in the water james
oh zing! http://planetsmilies.net/angry-smiley-8010.gif

ssmdive
12-10-2009, 18:37
oh zing! http://planetsmilies.net/angry-smiley-8010.gif

Sorry that one was just laying there..... (if I was cruel, I could make a Mom joke there.... but I don't really know you guys:smiley36:)